Two-Chord Christmas Songbook by M Ryan Taylor | Play Ukulele Now : an online course by Dan Scanlan

Review: Hal Leonard Ukulele Method Book 2

After playing through book one of this method in the morning, I took the opportunity to play through the Hal Leonard Ukulele Method Book 2 in the afternoon. The format is the same as book one, and continues where it left off.

The Pros, Weakness and Cons for this Ukulele Method:

  • Continues to have you pluck traditional melodies, learning new keys, notes and bits of theory as you go.
  • Continues to include traditional notation & tablature for most of the pieces.
  • Teaches you three major moveable chords, very useful information. The author does not, however, back this up with much practicle application (though there are dozens possible).
  • Covers hammer-ons, pull-offs and slides, but only provides one piece to reinforce these important techniques.
  • Covers a few new strumming patterns and techniques: Ragtime & Calypso Patterns and the Five-Finger Roll & Triplet Stroke.
  • Introduces the chord families of D, Bb and A as well as further exploration of minor keys. At this point, if you’re using this method, you should be used to the fast pace of learning new, sometimes difficult chords.

Once again, I think this is an excellent introduction to melodic picking, but does not fully capitolize on the opportunity to add harmonic counterpoint and other techniques of melodic soloing on the instrument. Chording continues to move along at a fast pace, but that is just the author’s approach – though I’d prefer a more gradual approach, with more reinforcement of the principles introduced (a lot of lost opportunity here). However, if you choose this method and follow through with it, you will learn a lot that you can apply to whatever music you choose to learn later on.

M Ryan Taylor